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A documentary film by George Paul Csicsery Filmed in Hungary and the United States between 1988 and 1996 Troop 214 is a personal odyssey of exile and return. Music, pageantry, and clashing ideologies mark this historical exploration of two competing youth organizations Hungarian Scouts and Communist Pioneers, and their cultures. Troop 214 deploys interviews and archival footage to trace the history of scouting in Hungary from its origins before World War I, through suppression and exile after 1948, to the legal return of Scouts to Hungary in 1989. It is a journey with unusual twists and turns.
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GEORGE PAUL CSICSERY, a writer and independent filmmaker since 1968, was born in Germany in 1948, the son of Hungarian parents. He immigrated to the United States in 1951. He has directed 27 films--dramatic shorts, performance films and documentaries. His most recent works are on mathematical themes. Julia Robinson and Hilbert's Tenth Problem, a one-hour biographical documentary about an American mathematician and her part in solving one of the 20th century's most famous mathematics problems premiered in January 2008. The project was supported by the Clay Mathematics Institute and by Margaret & Will Hearst. Hard Problems: The Road to the World's Toughest Math Contest, also premiered in January 2008. The feature documentary about American high school students who participated in the 2006 International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) in Ljubljana, Slovenia was produced for the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). I Want To Be A Mathematician: A Conversation with Paul Halmos (2009) is based on a 1999 interview with the renowned teacher and mathematician. It was produced with support from the Mathematical Association of America and the Educational Advancement Foundation. Some of Csicsery's recent films include The Right Spin (2005), about astronaut Michael Foale and his part in saving the Mir space station in 1997, made for Math Awareness Month, and The Thursday Club (2005) an hour-long doc about retired Oakland policemen who were involved in suppressing the antiwar demonstrations of the 1960s. Hungry for Monsters (2003), a feature documentary about a Pennsylvania case of false accusation of incest and child molest was shown at the Bermuda International Film Festival and in the Human Rights section of the 57th Locarno International Film Festival in 2004, and was broadcast by Teacher's TV in the UK in 2006. In 2003 he completed, Invitation to Discover, for the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI), and porridge pulleys and Pi, a half-hour biographical film on mathematicians Hendrik Lenstra and Vaughan Jones, which premiered at the Teléscience Festival in Montréal, Canada in November 2003, and at the Exploratorium in March 2004. Troop 214 (1997 and 2008)), about exiled Hungarian Scouts in the United States and their return to Hungary, and Communist Pioneers, was co-produced with Duna-TV in Budapest, Hungary, and broadcast in November 2000. An English-subtitled version with English-speaking bonus features was released in 2008. N is a Number: A Portrait of Paul Erdös (1993), about an eccentric wandering mathematician, was broadcast on Duna-TV, Hungary (1995), SBS-Australia (1996), the Sundance Channel-USA (1996-98), NHK-Japan (1997), and Noorder Licht, VPRO-Netherlands, January 2001, and again on Zomergasten on VPRO in 2007. The film is currently playing on PBS stations by arrangement with American Public Television, (2002-2009), and Discovery Canada (2003-2004). Csicsery produced, directed and edited Where the Heart Roams (1987), a feature documentary about romance writers and their fans, broadcast on the POV series on PBS (1991) and SBS-Australia. Television: The Enchanted Mirror (1981), which received prizes at the Marin, Mill Valley, Palo Alto and USA film festivals, was re-released by Whole Earth Films in 2008 on DVD. Half-hour 16mm films include Hookers (1975), about prostitutes organizing a union in San Francisco; Let's Get It Over With! (1970), about American student reactions to the U.S. invasion of Cambodia; and People of the Current (1971), about the Muslim Tausug people of Luuk township on Jolo island in the Philippines. Csicsery worked on films by Errol Morris (Gates of Heaven), and Barbet Schroeder (Koko).
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